Białowieża: snow fall

Poland is empty and looks abandoned.
The bicycle rental shops are closed as are restaurants. I take a stroll in the park of the nature park. The place was once a hunting lodge of the czar until it was taken over by Polish kings and Lithuanian dukes and then the main building was demolished during the WWI. Some smaller buildings have survived together with big oaks. In the furthest corner of the park is hidden a geocaching treasure. The museum is closed “until further notice”, only to the souvenir shop a lonely Polish-speaking lady has been forgotten. In addition to me cold wind wanders around and blows through my gloves.
Not all hope is gone, the shop is open. It sells yogurt, canned fish and beer.
I study the map. I could go to the upper corner of the forest where there is a 5 kilometer trail. At the start of the trail is a sign about strong wind. It does not seem so bad and I don’t understand Polish anyway.
I enter the forest and it starts to snow. Soon I reach a clearing. On the other end of it is Belorussian border and next to the border post rest two bison. The fence between me and them is not closed.
First the snow fall is similar to hail but then turns into slowly floating huge snowflakes. The trail passes a cemetery that dates back to the time when here was a German village. What exactly happened to the rest of the Germans is not known. They either went to the Volga river where the czar promised them better land or moved west with the retreating German army during WWI.
Official trail disappears but here are plenty of nice meandering paths. One only has to be on guard not to enter Belarus. Spruces and moss are picturesquely snow-covered. Later I stumble on a railway that takes me to the cycle trail and back to the car.
The hostess of the accommodation organizes a bicycle from a neighbor for me for tomorrow. One restaurant sells food to take away. Since it seems that I don’t have to hurry back home yet let the local entrepreneurs have some benefit of it. I’m puzzled what do people do with all the toilet paper. It is not a dysentery outbreak. If I was in quarantine then I’d stock up with food, chocolate, books and sauna beer.
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Białowieża: bicycle ride

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